Purpose The number of fetal deaths in the United States each year exceeds that of infant deaths. High quality fetal death certificate data are necessary for states to effectively address preventable fetal deaths. We evaluated completeness of detection of fetal deaths among Wyoming residents that occur out-of-state, quality of cause-of-death data, and timeliness of Wyoming fetal death certificate registration during 2006–2013. Description The numbers of out-of-state fetal deaths among Wyoming residents recorded by Wyoming surveillance and reported by the National Vital Statistics System were compared. Quality of cause-of-death data was assessed by calculating percentage of fetal death certificates completed in Wyoming with ill-defined, unknown, or missing cause-of-death entries. Timeliness was determined using the time between the fetal death and filing of the fetal death certificate with the Wyoming Department of Health Vital Statistics Service. Assessment Wyoming surveillance detected none of the 76 out-of-state fetal deaths among Wyoming residents reported by the National Vital Statistics System. Among 263 fetal death certificates completed in Wyoming and collected by Wyoming surveillance, 108 (41%) contained ill-defined, unknown, or missing cause-of-death entries. Median duration between the fetal death and filing with the Wyoming Vital Statistics Service was 33 days. Conclusion Wyoming fetal mortality surveillance is limited by failure to register out-of-state fetal deaths among residents, poor quality of cause-of-death data, and lack of timeliness. Strategies to improve surveillance include automating interjurisdictional sharing of fetal death data, certifier education, and electronic fetal death registration.
Maternal and Child Health Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 25, 2017
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